About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 5261-5272
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-613-2953-3
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain

A PLAYSTATION APPROACH TO TEACHING CHEMICAL ENGINEERING

R. Rawatlal

University of Cape Town (SOUTH AFRICA)
To assist students develop a deeper understanding of the fundamental elements that govern chemical processes, a set of simulations was developed that graphically illustrates in two dimensions the motion and interaction of particles in a reactor. The simulations were used for teaching the residence time distribution concept in the third year Chemical Engineering Reactor Design course. In testing the effectiveness of the simulation, a traditional ‘chalk and talk’ lecture was given to one half of a class of eighty students, while the other half was taught using the simulation. It was found that the latter group performed 17% better in a quiz administered straight after the lecture, even though this was found, in retrospect, to be the group that had performed 13% worse in an earlier class test. More importantly, the answers provided by this group clearly showed a superior understanding of the subject material.

It is proposed that since the student of today is familiar with the dynamic simulations from video games and other multimedia easily accessible through the internet, a new ‘visual literacy’ has developed that may afford educators new opportunities in presenting complex concepts. Based on this logic, it is demonstrated why the traditional approaches to teaching engineering fundamentals may not be compatible with the modern student.

Plans for developing a platform on which educators may develop new simulation objects are presented. The intention is to extend the range of situations that could be simulated, thus opening exciting opportunities for extensions to other chemical engineering courses, as well to other branches of engineering. Finally, our attempts to upgrade the simulation platform to three dimensions are described.
@InProceedings{RAWATLAL2009APL,
author = {Rawatlal, R.},
title = {A PLAYSTATION APPROACH TO TEACHING CHEMICAL ENGINEERING},
series = {2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2009 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-2953-3},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {16-18 November, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {5261-5272}}
TY - CONF
AU - R. Rawatlal
TI - A PLAYSTATION APPROACH TO TEACHING CHEMICAL ENGINEERING
SN - 978-84-613-2953-3/2340-1095
PY - 2009
Y1 - 16-18 November, 2009
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2009 Proceedings
SP - 5261
EP - 5272
ER -
R. Rawatlal (2009) A PLAYSTATION APPROACH TO TEACHING CHEMICAL ENGINEERING, ICERI2009 Proceedings, pp. 5261-5272.
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